30 best live albums countdown: 18 – At Fillmore East by The Allman Brothers Band

ABB fillmore color

“Okay, The Allman Brothers Band…”
– the announcer

At Fillmore East – The Allman Brothers Band (1971)

At Fillmore East by The Allman Brothers Band is my number 18 on the countdown of the 30 best live albums in the world. It was the band’s breakthrough success, it was released in July 1971. It ranks Number 49 among Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It was one of 50 recordings chosen in 2004 by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. The song “Whipping Post” is part of the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list

I love the way it presents all these different aspects of the blues, chicago- blues, Mississippi delta- blues, Texas-blues, Jazzy blues and monumental blues jams. It includes cover songs and original composition and the album is put together in a way that feels natural.

It was recorded at the Fillmore East concert hall on Friday and Saturday March 12, 1971 and March 13, 1971.

ABB greg and duane

2003 saw the release of a two-disc edition entitled At Fillmore East Deluxe Edition. It compiled all the released versions of the Fillmore material, some material from the collection Duane Allman: An Anthology and the Dreams box set, and remixed the material with a better soundstage than the 1992 release. That’s the one to get.

“The Allman Brothers had many fine moments at the Fillmores, and this live double album (recorded March 12th and 13th of this year) must surely epitomize all of them.”

– George Kimball (Review, Rolling Stone Magazine)

I need to include One Way Out from the rlease, The Fillmore Concerts. Just because it is so damn good, and would be a great addition to the original album.

It gives us Duane Allman’s tight slide guitar up against and weaving into Richard Betts’ round and loose lead guitar, it also has Dicky Betts’ best recorded guitar solo.

Whipping Post (Live Fillmore, 9/23/70):

The connection between the two lead guitarists and the two drummers is extraordinary! Also, listen to Barry’s bass lines, incredible, and Greg’s vocals (and jazzy organ) and you have band for the ages.

This album is for me, the crowning achievement of the ultimate southern-rock band.

We’ve posted this documentary before, but t is so good and give us such insight that everyone should see it again.

Sweet Home Alabama – The Story of southern Rock:

Let’s also include the American documentary (CMT), The Story of Southern Rock, that gives a slightly different perspective:

“Whether delivering the blues with Duane’s slide licks daring grown men to weep (“Stormy Monday”), or with Gregg’s song writing skills to the fore on more succinct gems like “Midnight Rider” (a bonus cut on this deluxe edition) this remains a snapshot of a band getting off on each others’ abilities and sharing the joy with one lucky crowd. Tragedy was lurking just around the corner, but for these precious moments they were, and remain unbeatable.”

– Chris Jones , BBC (2003)

ABB fillmore bw

Spotify, The Allman Brothers Band – At Fillmore East (1971):

– Hallgeir

Sources: BBC, Wikipedia, BBC documentary – The Story of Southern Rock, Allmusic

Posts in this series:

18. At Fillmore East by The Allman Brothers Band
19. Live at Carnegie Hall by Bill Withers

20. Live at the Star Club, Hamburg by Jerry Lee Lewis

21. MTV Unplugged Live in New York by Nirvana 

22. Kick Out The Jams by MC5 
23. One night stand! Live at the Harlem Square Clum 1963 by Sam Cooke
24. Live At The Apollo by James Brown
25. The Band of Gypsys – Jimi Hendrix
26. The Köln Concert by Keith Jarret
27. On Stage by Elvis Presley
28. One for the road by The Kinks
29. Waiting for Columbus by Little Feat
30. Wings over America by Wings

8 thoughts on “30 best live albums countdown: 18 – At Fillmore East by The Allman Brothers Band”

  1. As long as you are covering great live albums (and that Allman Brothers at the Fillmore is a stunning masterpiece) you could look into two of Van Morrison’s three live albums: It’s Too Late To Stop Now (1974) and A Night In San Francisco (1994).. and Talking Heads: The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads. The Talking Heads album is a compilation of their different eras, as they changed musically as they developed and grew.

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